Policy brief on battery operated zero emissions trucks

February 13, 2024

Paving the way for heavy duty electrification in India

For India to be on track with the 2070 goals of net zero, fuel efficiency of the internal combustion engine (ICE) truck fleet needs to improve by more than 35 per cent in the coming decades, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It is further estimated, the largest additional reduction is possible with zero emission trucks. The forecast is that a sizable number of battery powered trucks can begin to arrive after 2030. This zero-emission trajectory needs to develop quickly in India as there is very high dependence on road-based freight that is driving the boom in diesel truck based freight movement and fuel consumption. The road-based freight dominates the freight movement at 70 per cent mode share. It is therefore encouraging that the matter of zero emissions trucking has drawn policy attention. Early initiation of its roll out needs advanced planning and action to develop adequate and appropriate products, infrastructure, regulations and standards and fiscal instruments.  

Given the unique nature of the trucking industry, its long range operations, decentralised industry structure, considerable informality, diverse pattern of logistics, among others raise several issues around its deployment strategy. Moreover, large scale deployment of e-trucks also requires a technology roadmap for robust product development to achieve optimum performance of e-trucks -- to address more demanding duty cycle, durability, safety and thermal management, adapting to harsher environmental parameters among others. At the same time, high-capacity chargers for trucks will  require heavy upfront investment, well framed incentive schemes and operational cost support to make up for operational start-up losses.

This report is a rapid stakeholder survey of the OEMs, logistic providers, charging providers and Discoms to understand their respective concerns and issues around effective implementation of electric truck programme in India. 



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